Blood test spots ovarian cancer in nine of ten cases.
Women at high genetic risk should have a blood check every four months. A mutated BRCA1 gene raises the risk of ovarian cancer from 1.3 per cent to 39 per cent. Women with such gene, like Angelia Jolie, are advised to have their ovaries removed. A number of other genes, if mutated, also increase the risk.
A simple and cheap nose swab could soon detect lung cancer in smokers, scientists claim.
Detecting these changes can accurately predict whether the patients have tumors without having to perform a biopsy.
Smoking damages the cells in the lining of the nostrils involved in smell, research shows. A persistent cough, coughing up blood, persistent breathlessness and unexplained tiredness are symptoms of what may be lung cancer. Those suspected of having it are given a chest x-ray and then scans - but these are unable to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions.
Those believed to be at risk then have to undergo an invasive bronchoscopy to take a tissue sample. Boston University School of Medicine researchers found a biomarker in the nasal passages can determine the likelihood of a lung lesion being malignant. The simple swab of their nose can determine if they have the disease sparing them from costly and risky procedures.
Dr. Carol Foster, Director of the Balance Laboratory at the University of Colorado School of Medicine has experienced vertigo, the most common form called positional vertigo. It happens when particles in the ear that sense gravity get dislodged and end up in spinning sensors....vertigo. She describes it thus, “You’re rolling over in bed and suddenly you’re hit with this incredible spinning and you see the room going around like you’re in the inside of a washing machine.”
One morning, in treating herself, she came up with her own spin on how to fix vertigo at home. It’s called the “Half Somersault Maneuver.” Patients put their head upside down like they are going to do a somersault. They wait for dizziness to end then raise their head to back level. They then wait again for dizziness to end and then sit back quickly “And that causes the particles to leave the semicircular canal,” Foster said.
A six-month study showed patents preferred the exercise over the one commonly used by doctors. Foster’s recently published research is a breakthrough in the treatment of vertigo and could be life-changing for people who are disabled at times by extreme dizzy spells. “I was surprised at how well it worked,” Foster said.
Lyrica relieves a seizure-like phenomenon believed to be the cause of migraines. It works by stopping a wave of brain cells, preventing symptoms and was found to boost calcium levels, with low amounts causing headaches. The findings by a team at the British Columbia University, Canada, were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Adults with gum disease may be twice as likely as people with healthy gums to suffer a stroke, new research suggests...."The higher the level of gum disease, the worse the risk." Floss your teeth and use a water pic. Regular dental check-ups can spot and treat early gum disease.
One of the Biggest Myths About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Just Got Debunked. Chronic fatigue IS a real disease.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is one of the most perplexing conditions out there. It affects up to 1 million Americans and as much as 2.6 percent of the global population, often triggering exhaustion so severe that patients can't work or study.
But for decades, researchers have struggled to find an underlying cause, leading to an assumption by many doctors that it's 'not a real disease'. Now, Australian researchers have blown that myth wide open, showing for the first time that CFS is linked to a faulty cell receptor in immune cells. Not only is this the first research to show how the faulty cell receptor causes the immune system changes seen in CFS/ME, it also offers researchers a long-sought-after target for future treatments and tests.
It was two years ago that the US officially listed CFS/ME as a disease, [renaming it ‘systemic exertion intolerance disease’, or SEID for short....There's still no way to test for the disease, and no effective treatment. In fact, the two most commonly prescribed treatments for the condition are cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise, neither of which have any evidence to support they work - and many feel could actually be doing more harm than good.
The new research suggests that all of the common CFS/ME symptoms can be explained by these faulty calcium ion channels.
"We now know that this is a dysfunction of a very critical receptor and the critical role that this has, which causes severe problems to cells in the body," said Don Staines, co-director of Griffith University's National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases. Already, Staines and his team are working to figure out the best markers that can be used to test for these faulty receptors, so they can begin to create a CFS/ME test. They're also looking for medications that act on these specific calcium ion channels in the hopes of finding potential treatments for the disease.
An experimental gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into cancer killers has worked with 'extraordinary' results in a major study. More than one-third of very sick lymphoma patients showing no sign of disease six months after a single treatment, its maker said on Tuesday. In all, 82 percent of patients had their cancer shrink at least by half at some point in the study.
The therapy is not without risk. Three of the 101 patients in the study died of causes unrelated to worsening of their cancer, and two of those deaths were deemed due to the treatment. ...The treatment involves filtering a patient's blood to remove key immune system soldiers called T-cells, altering them in the lab to contain a gene that targets cancer, and giving them back intravenously.
Doctors call it a 'living drug' - permanently altered cells that multiply in the body into an army to fight the disease...Its sponsor, California-based Kite Pharma, is racing Novartis AG to become the first to win approval of the treatment, called CAR-T cell therapy, in the U.S. It could become the nation's first approved gene therapy. It was developed at the government's National Cancer Institute and then licensed to Kite. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society helped sponsor the study.
Is the Leading Theory About Alzheimer's Wrong? Yet another failed drug trial has prompted soul-searching about the “amyloid hypothesis.”
The “amyloid hypothesis” began with a simple observation: Alzheimer’s patients have an unusual buildup of the protein amyloid in their brains. Thus, drugs that prevent or remove the amyloid should slow the onset of dementia. Yet all drugs targeting amyloid—including solanezumab from Eli Lilly and bapineuzumab from Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, to add a few more high-profile flameouts to the fail pile—have not worked so far.
Other skeptics of the amyloid hypothesis are coming back to tau, the protein Selkoe left decades ago to focus on amyloid. In the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, tau gets twisted into tangles that block the internal transport system of neurons. A recent failed trial aside, several drugs targeting tau are in early phases of clinical trials.
Too much sugar causes Alzheimer's: Study reveals 'tipping point' link between blood glucose and brain disease.
The study by the University of Bath and King's College London builds on previous research showing diabetes appears to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. They found a 'tipping point' when glucose levels start to inhibit a protein that fights the early stages of Alzheimer's. Once levels pass the threshold, they restrict the performance of a vital protein, which normally fights the brain inflammation associated with dementia. This is the first evidence showing link between sugar and the brain disease.
Imperial College London experts used chemotherapy to kill faulty immune cells. They then replaced them with stem cells in a bid to 'reset' the body's defenses. They found that Nearly half of patients saw the disease stop progressing for 5 years. Some patients went for as long as ten years with no worsening in their condition. Experts say the findings offer hope of the first lasting treatment for MS patients.
Doctors, however, stressed the treatment is more likely to 'stabilize' rather than 'reverse' the disease - and has better outcomes for patients whose disabilities are not severe. The Imperial study is the largest trial to date of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation - or AHSCT - widely considered the most promising treatment for MS.
Is this the 'master switch' that prevents Parkinson's disease? Scientists discover key gene that stops brain cells from dying
Researchers from the University of Leicester found that a gene known as ATF4 plays a key role in the onset of Parkinson's in fruit flies. Acting as a switch, ATF4 helps to control the energy stations of cells - known as mitochondria - including neurons. The discovered gene boosts the energy of neurons, preventing their destruction. This groundbreaking discovery could help to prevent or delay Parkinson symptoms. Dr Martins said: 'Studying the roles of genes such as ATF4 in human neurons could lead to tailored interventions that could one day prevent or delay the neuronal loss seen in Parkinson's.'
This comes after groundbreaking research in December found that Parkinson's disease may start in the stomach. Scientists from California Institute of Technology found the first ever conclusive link between gut microbes and the development of Parkinson's-like movement disorders in mice.
Studies: Cooling Caps Help Chemo Patients Keep Hair Up to two-thirds of breast cancer patients kept more than half their hair.
Cooling caps are affixed to patients' heads before, during, and after chemo; a machine cycles cooling liquid through the caps. While researchers aren't exactly sure how the caps prevent hair loss, one theory is they restrict blood vessels in the scalp, reducing the amount of chemo that reaches the hair follicles. About half of breast cancer patients say hair loss is the most daunting part of chemo, and 8% say they would turn down chemo in order to keep their hair. One breast cancer survivor who used a cooling cap says it has psychological benefits. She tells the Times that losing their hair makes people "think they're sicker than they actually are.
Would YOU want to hold your heart? Texas hospital lets transplant patients clutch their removed organs after surgery
Normally, hospitals dispose of surgically-removed organs after testing them and taking records. However, Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, has launched an unusual scheme called the 'Heart-to-Heart' program. It has offered more than 70 people the virtually unheard-of opportunity to see their ailing body part, and to hold it, before it is stored for further study. It all started with Dr William C Roberts, a cardiac pathologist at Baylor, who has been storing every removed heart to study for further study since he joined the institution in 1993. The patients are overcome with emotion when they hold their own hearts in their hands.
Drunk Canadian Men Arrested for Riding Couch Towed Behind ATV Through McDonalds Drive-Thru.
but, as Stephen Green points out, "They were wearing helmets." OH, CANADA!
The Mesmerizing 'Glory Hole' Spillway (drone video at the link)
Earth has a new continent
Scientists say the 5 million square kilometre landmass east of Australia should be formally known as ZEALANDIA. 11 geologists argue that Zealandia has all four attributes necessary to be considered a continent....'It was not a sudden discovery but a gradual realization,' the scientists wrote....The new continent would be the 'youngest, thinnest, and most submerged' of the continents, with 94 percent of the landmass submerged in water.
Long-Term Projects, First Prize—Black Days Of Ukraine by Valery Melnikov / Rossia Segodnya
Spot News, Second Prize, Stories—Rescued From the Rubble (Syria) by Ameer Alhalbi / AFP
French diner overwhelmed with customers after it is accidentally awarded a Michelin star. They confused Bouche à Oreille, Bourges with Bouche à Oreille, Boutervilliers, 100 miles away.
The Coffee Shaman Meet the man responsible for third-wave coffee—and the Frappuccino.
George Howell “pushed light roasts and single-origin beans” while the rest of us were still drinking Nescafé. He invented the Frappucino, sold out to Starbucks, then travelled the world for decades meeting growers. Now he is back with a new method for grading coffee beans — and it seems to work: “The third cup tastes unbelievable, so good that each hit from the cupping spoon exerts a magnetic effect on my tongue as powerful as the crumbs at the bottom of a bag of Doritos”
You can try it for yourself at his new cafe, George Howell Coffee in Newton, Mass.
How a Mexican Janitor Invented Flamin' Hot Cheetos The Frito-Lay janitor is now an executive vice president at PepsiCo, all because of a spicy snack.
The Last Howard Johnson’s in the Universe. America’s first great restaurant chain comes to the end of the road.
"The difference between a good cook and a great cook is a quarter pound of butter," said my mother who cooked and baked
simple and utterly delicious meals for her seven children. The vegetables served with every meal with plenty of butter were so tasty, we gobbled them up. When recalling to one another any of a number of dishes she made, our mouths water. I never even heard of margarine until I went to college and when I tasted it, I knew it was an abomination. My mother never said, “As for butter or margarine, I trust cows more than chemists,” but it sounds like her. Despite decades of people saying it was bad for you, I never gave up on butter.
I feel vindicated now the pendulum has swung the other way.
Data from a 1970s survey of mental hospital patients had never been analyzed until researchers from the University of North Carolina published published their findings in the British Medical Journal. The findings come from subjects who had a carefully regimented and documented diet, if not altogether of their own will. The research team analyzed unpublished nutritional data gathered between 1968 and 1973 in a controlled study of more than 9,400 men and women in one nursing home and six state mental hospitals in Minnesota that concluded that there was 22 percent greater risk of death for those on the vegetable oil diet.
Authority Nutrition: Why Grass-Fed Butter is Good For You
1. The saturated fat in butter can actually improve the blood lipid profile by raising the levels in HDL (the good) cholesterol which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and changing the LDL rom small, dense (bad) to Large LDL – which is benign and not associated with heart disease.
2. Grass-Fed Butter is Loaded With Vitamin-K2, The Missing Nutrient That De-Calcifies Your Arteries. High-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows are among the best sources of Vitamin K2 in the diet. Studies consistently show that Vitamin K2 dramatically reduces the risk of both osteoporosis and heart disease.
3. Butter is Loaded With an Anti-Inflammatory Fatty Acid Called Butyrate.
4. In Countries Where Cows Are Grass-Fed, Butter Consumption is Associated With a Dramatic Reduction in Heart Disease Risk. ...According to one study from Australia, where cows are grass-fed, individuals who ate the most high-fat dairy products had a 69% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared to those who ate the least.
I swear by Kerrygold grass-fed butter, made in Ireland where as its website says:
The winds, rain and warming influence of the Gulf Stream all contribute to the lush grass our cows feed on year-round. They produce the sweetest, richest milk in the world, which makes our grass-fed cow’s milk Irish butter taste silky and creamy and glow a healthy, golden yellow.
Kerrygold butter is sold in every state, except for Wisconsin which is cracking down on 'Illegal butter'.
Butter protectionism in the Dairy State has made this foreign butter illegal. An obscure regulation turns “ungraded butter” into contraband. Since Kerrygold isn’t produced in the good ole U.S. of A., it’s not graded and hence, illegal. Selling illicit butter bears a fine up to $1,000 and a possible six-month stint in the slammer.
Wisconsinites who enjoy Kellygold Irish butter have been forced to venture across state lines to buy the gold foil packaged dairy goodness....If you haven’t tasted Kerrygold, I can assure you it is definitely worth the drive...... It’s pricey, but worth every penny. [Editor's note: Buy it at Costco for best value].
Colcannon or Champ
Colcannon is Irish mashed potatoes with cooked kale or cabbage, milk and plenty of butter. Recipe here. Irish Champ is mashed potatoes with scallions and plenty of butter. Here's a good recipe. I most often combine both. With a sprinkle of parsley on the top, the greens add a lovely Springtime taste.
While your unpeeled potatoes are boiling until tender, finely chop scallions (white and green parts) and mix with cold milk. Then heat them gently. When the potatoes are done, peel, then mash, and while still hot mix with the boiled milk and scallions. Then add some of the butter and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a knob of butter on the top. Eat from the outside in, dipping each forkful into the melted butter.
"With enough butter, anything is good," Julia Child.
I just came across this article by David P. Goldman, aka Spengler, Why Iran is obsessed with the Jews (hint: same as Hitler) in the Asia Times. The article was written in 2015, but what he reported was gobsmacking news to me.
Someone should tell the mullahs in Tehran that there’s no way Hitler could have lost that war, if only he had had the Jews on his side. There’s more than a modicum of truth in the joke. Killing six million Jews diverted resources from the German war effort. More importantly, Jewish physicists, including Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, Robert Oppenheimer, David Bohm, Rudolf Peierls, Otto Frisch Felix Bloch, Niels Bohr, Otto Hahn, and Edward Teller, led the American effort to build an atom bomb. Enrico Fermi, whose wife was Jewish, left Italy for America after Mussolini imposed race laws in 1938. Albert Einstein had spent the First World War in Berlin; at the outbreak of the Second, he helped persuade Franklin Roosevelt to fund the Manhattan Project.
Killing Jews served no rational German objective. Yet no-one can argue that Jew-hatred was merely incidental to the Nazi regime. On the contrary, it was the raison d’etre of National Socialism....After 1930, Germany’s total fertility rate fell below replacement for the first time in its history, to just 1.7 children per female when Hitler took power in 1933. His apocalyptic fears of the disappearance of the Germans were not unfounded. Germany had begun to die, and Hitler proposed a messianic, megalomaniac vision to restore it.
Hitler was crazy, if by crazy we mean that his obsessions caused him to act repeatedly against self-interest.
A fortiori, Iran’s self-interest would dictate cordial relations with the State of Israel...The last thing Iran should want is an alliance between Israel and its Sunni opponents—Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, but potentially Turkey and Pakistan as well.....
But Iran’s leaders talk about the destruction of the State of Israel obsessively...
Iran’s reality is galloping demographic decline...the result of the unprecedented collapse of Iranian fertility after 1990.
Iran’s national megalomania trumps rational self-interest....Khamenei’s existential problem is to persuade the Persians to continue to exist at all. The collapse of Iran’s fertility rate from 7 children per female in 1969 to between 1.6 and 1.8 children at present ranks as one of history’s great examples of genosuicide.
Between 23% and 25% of Iranian couples claim to be infertile, which might be an excuse not to bear children. It also might be the result of the world’s highest reported rates of venereal infection, associated with Shi’ite “temporary marriage,” or clerically-approved prostitution. Iranian studies report Chlamydia infection rates of 12.6% in Tehran and 21.25% in Isfahan, vs. 0.6% in the United States and 4.3% worldwide.
Iran also has the worst drug problem of any country in the world. According to Iran’s interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, six million Iranians (20% of the population over age 15) have been affected by drug abuse, and 1.3 million (or 4.3% of Iranians over age 15) are addicts, using heroin as well as crystal meth. Only 36.7% of Iran’s population is economically active, one of the lowest counts in the world.
L’appel du vide, or “the call of the void" .You’re waiting for the train when an inexplicable thought flashes into your mind: What if you jumped off the platform? ... the emotion is so unsettling because of the way it “creates an unnerving, shaky sensation of not being able to trust one’s own instincts.”
Awumbuk - the feeling of “emptiness after visitors depart.”
Ilinx - a French word for “the ‘strange excitement’ of wanton destruction.
Torschlusspanik - that fretful sensation of time running out. . The deadline’s approaching. The train’s a-comin’. Literally translated from German, torschlusspanik means “gate-closing panic.”
Not all are from other languages.
Brabant - a word for the fun of pushing someone’s buttons, to see how much you can tease them until they snap.
Pronoia - the “strange, creeping feeling that everyone’s out to help you.”
But my favorite is kalsarikannit, a Finnish term that roughly translates to “drinking home alone in your underwear, with no intention of going out.” This Finnish Word Makes Your Sad Weekend Plans Sound a Little Cooler
Biographer Ron Chernow wrote Alexander Hamilton which inspired the current smash Broadway musical, but he is most celebrated and rightly so for his gripping portrait of our first president in Washington: A Life which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Biography.
From the sculpture by Jean-Antoine Houdon
Publishers Weekly noted Chernow's goals: Using the recent "explosion of research," he wants to render George Washington "real" and "credible," to replace "frosty respect" with "visceral appreciation." And that he did. Hendrik Hertzberg reviewed the book in The New Yorker, calling it, “A truly gripping biography of George Washington... I can’t recommend it highly enough—as history, as epic, and, not least, as entertainment. It’s as luxuriantly pleasurable as one of those great big sprawling, sweeping Victorian novels.”
I can attest to that as I am in the middle of listening to this amazing biography. So far I've learned: (cribbed text from Amazon)
-Washington was the only major founder who lacked a college education. John Adams went to Harvard, James Madison to Princeton, and Alexander Hamilton to Columbia, making Washington self-conscious about what he called his “defective education.”
--Washington never had wooden teeth. He wore dentures that were made of either walrus or elephant ivory and were fitted with real human teeth. Over time, as the ivory got cracked and stained, it resembled the grain of wood. Washington may have purchased some of his teeth from his own slaves.
--Washington had a strangely cool and distant relationship with his mother. During the Revolutionary War and her son’s presidency, she never uttered a word of praise about him and she may even have been a Tory. No evidence exists that she ever visited George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Late in the Revolutionary War, Mary Washington petitioned the Virginia legislature for financial relief, pleading poverty—and, by implication, neglect by her son. Washington, who had been extremely generous to his mother, was justly indignant.
--Even as a young man, Washington seemed to possess a magical immunity to bullets. In one early encounter in the French and Indian War, he absorbed four bullets in his coat and hat and had two horses shot from under him yet emerged unscathed. This led one Indian chief to predict that some higher power was guiding him to great events in the future.
--By age 30 Washington had survived smallpox, malaria, dysentery, and other diseases. Although he came from a family of short-lived men, he had an iron constitution and weathered many illnesses that would have killed a less robust man. He lived to the age of 67.
--While the Washingtons were childless—it has always been thought that George Washington was sterile—they presided over a household teeming with children. Martha had two children from her previous marriage and she and George later brought up two grandchildren as well, not to mention countless nieces and nephews.
--That Washington was childless proved a great boon to his career. Because he had no heirs, Americans didn’t worry that he might be tempted to establish a hereditary monarchy. And many religious Americans believed that God had deliberately deprived Washington of children so that he might serve as Father of His Country.
--Though he tried hard to be fair and took excellent medical care of his slaves, Washington could be a severe master. His diaries reveal that during one of the worst cold snaps on record in Virginia—when Washington himself found it too cold to ride outside—he had his field slaves out draining swamps and performing other arduous tasks.
--For all her anxiety about being constantly in a battle zone, Martha Washington spent a full half of the Revolutionary War with her husband—a major act of courage that has largely gone unnoticed.
--Washington was obsessed with his personal appearance, which extended to his personal guard during the war. Despite wartime austerity and a constant shortage of soldiers, he demanded that all members of his personal guard be between 5'8" and 5'10"; a year later, he narrowed the range to 5'9" to 5'10."
--While Washington lost more battles than he won, he still ranks as a great general. His greatness lay less in his battlefield brilliance—he committed some major strategic blunders—than in his ability to hold his ragged army intact for more than eight years, keeping the flame of revolution alive.
--Washington ran his own spy network during the war and was often the only one privy to the full scope of secret operations against the British. He anticipated many techniques of modern espionage, including the use of misinformation and double agents.
--Washington tended his place in history with extreme care. Even amid wartime stringency, he got Congress to appropriate special funds for a full-time team of secretaries who spent two years copying his wartime papers into beautiful ledgers.
--For thirty years, Washington maintained an extraordinary relationship with his slave and personal manservant William Lee, who accompanied him throughout the Revolutionary War and later worked in the presidential mansion. Lee was freed upon Washington’s death and given a special lifetime annuity.
--The battle of Yorktown proved the climactic battle of the revolution and the capstone of Washington’s military career, but he initially opposed this Franco-American operation against the British—a fact he later found hard to admit.
--Self-conscious about his dental problems, Washington maintained an air of extreme secrecy when corresponding with his dentist and never used such incriminating words as ‘teeth’ or ‘dentures.’ By the time he became president, Washington had only a single tooth left—a lonely lower left bicuspid that held his dentures in place.
--Washington always displayed extremely ambivalence about his fame. Very often, when he was traveling, he would rise early to sneak out of a town or enter it before he could be escorted by local dignitaries. He felt beleaguered by the social demands of his own renown.
--At Mount Vernon, Washington functioned as his own architect—and an extremely original one at that. All of the major features that we associate with the house—the wide piazza and colonnade overlooking the Potomac, the steeple and the weathervane with the dove of peace—were personally designed by Washington himself.
--A master showman with a brilliant sense of political stagecraft, Washington would disembark from his coach when he was about to enter a town then mount a white parade horse for maximum effect. It is not coincidental that there are so many fine equestrian statues of him.
If you don't have time for this 928 page biography, do make a visit to MountVernon.org to learn more about this remarkable man, the father of our country, which I note has never accepted government funds, but is entirely run on private support.
"First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen"
Firefighter adopts baby he delivered on emergency call "It was meant to be," says the proud dad.
Fireflghter Marc Hadden, who worked with the medical unit, was eating dinner in the middle of his 24-hour shift when he had to hop in the ambulance and head out to the emergency. He and his partner found a woman in labor, and as soon as they got her in the ambulance she was ready to give birth. Hadden took charge — his first time ever being in charge of a delivery in 20 years of his work, according to a story on CBS News. Little did the firefighter know at that moment that he was helping his own daughter take her first breath.
Students of Troy High School, in Ohio, received a wonderful Valentine’s day surprise yesterday when each student found an origami heart stuck on their locker. The truly impressive part is that all of these hand crafted gifts were made by one anonymous student ---who began making them last September.
Mohamed Bzeek has chosen a tough, heart-wrenching vocation. The quiet, devout, Libyan-born Muslim has for more than two decades been a father to terminally ill children in Los Angeles County’s foster care system. And as a long profile in the Los Angeles Times makes clear, he is very good at what he does. Bzeek reportedly has buried about ten children -- some of whom died in his arms -- yet still maintains the patience and empathy to do what even the children's parents can't or won't do.'I know they are going to die'....
after they decided to care exclusively for terminally ill kids. He has buried ten children in the past 20 years of fostering severely ill children. Dawn died in 2013. Bzeek cares for the kids, and his disabled son, by himself. Bzeek is currently caring for a six-year-old girl who is paralyzed, deaf and blind. Foster care workers say he is the only person they can turn to with an ill child.
'The key is, you have to love them like your own,' Bzeek told the Los Angeles Times. 'I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.'
For the three siblings who lost their parents to cancer within days, a nation pulled out the stops. A homeless beggar donated his day’s earnings, a family in Scotland offered a home, countless others gave a tenner in anonymity.
Luke, 21, Hannah, 18, and Oliver Bennet, 13, were “astounded” as the total amount raised to keep them in full-time education soared above £192,000 in five days. The money poured in via the website JustGiving after Julie and Mike Bennet’s children, who live in the Wirral, released a picture of their parents holding hands on their deathbeds.
Mike Bennet, a cabinet-maker, had a brain tumor diagnosed four years ago. Last May his wife, Julie, a primary school teacher, had liver and kidney cancer diagnosed. Last month, after their treatments failed, the couple were admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral and put in adjacent beds for their final days. Mr Bennet died there on February 6, aged 57. Mrs Bennet was then moved to St John’s hospice in Bebington, where she died on Saturday, aged 50.
“They are extremely, extremely grateful,” Ms Gallagher said. “They just cannot believe the support they have been given. They are proper down-to-earth kids whose parents brought them up well. It is not about cars and new shoes with them. It is about rallying around each other.”
The money will allow the siblings, Oliver 13, Hannah 18 and Luke 21, to continue in full-time education
The language of love: 10 romantic expressions around the world for which there is no English word.
John Mackay will celebrate his 71st Valentine's Day with the prisoner he saved. During WW2, his unit liberated Jewish prisoners, among them his future wife. Edith Steiner caught Mr Mackay's eye at a dance to celebrate their liberation.
The couple married on July 17, 1946, and have been 'wholly dedicated' to each other since. With a family of two children, seven grandchildren and five great-grand-children, they worked as hoteliers before retiring to live at a care home in Dundee.
I really admire this weatherman's sang-froid on live TV. This Arizona weather report started out normally… except for one small glitch on the green screen. After all, he was reporting on the hottest day of the universe.
Aaron McAvoy’s washing machine makes a banging noise while washing clothes so he played The Devil Went Down to Georgia in time with the banging. This is the most perfect little internet entertainment…I actually started crying I was laughing so hard. A much needed respite from the world.
Ann Carrington produces sculpture that elevate objects used in the everyday... In her series Bouquets and Butterflies, Carrington gathers hundreds of spoons, knives, and forks both shiny and tarnished to create elegant bouquets. Clumping spoons together she is able to recreate the shapes of roses and tulips, some appearing so realistic you wonder if they are organic flowers dipped in a layer of silver.
Scientists Engineered the Perfect Song to Make Babies Laugh with video at the link.
Get a professional musician together with some psychologists, brush up on the baby-laughter literature, write some tunes, write some lyrics, and cobble it all together into a research-backed piece of sonic science. There are easier ways, sure, but this one’s still pretty cool: As Caspar Addyman, a developmental psychologist at the University of London, recently explained in the Conversation, he and his colleagues — including singer Imogen Heap — have created the first song engineered specifically to elicit adorable baby giggles.
The two birds were discovered by a priest in Weisendoft, northern Bavaria. Foresters cut the remains of the kingfishers from the ice with saws It is assumed that either they could no longer find the exit while underwater, or the hole froze over quickly. Forestry director Peter Proebstle called it a 'tragic, but also a bizarre and somehow beautiful sight'
On the last of NASA's manned moon mission, Apollo 17 in 1972, Astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt came down with lunar dust hay fever. Schmitt, it turns out, was basically allergic to the Moon....Of all the difficulties involved with putting a man on the Moon, “the major issue the Apollo astronauts pointed out was dust, dust, dust.” Moondust may look soft and pillowy, but it’s actually sharp and abrasive, largely the detritus of micrometeorite impacts. With no wind or moving water on the Moon’s surface, moondust never erodes. Effectively, no natural process exists on the lunar surface that can round its edges. When astronauts inhale what is essentially finely powdered glass.....
Schmitt was the first, and only, professional scientist to walk on the Moon, a Harvard-educated geologist who had dedicated the better part of a decade to studying the Moon’s landscape
In December 1972, Schmitt landed in the Moon’s Valley of Taurus-Littrow, surrounded by mountains and endless stretches of moondust. During their first moonwalk, the lunar roving vehicle lost a fender. The tires spun, and the rover kicked up a cloud of dust. The sediment got lodged in every wrinkle, fold, nook, and cranny of Schmitt’s spacesuit. The dust “gummed up the joints” of his suit so badly that he had trouble moving his arms. The powder chewed up his footwear, too. “The dust was so abrasive that it actually wore through three layers of Kevlar-like material on Jack’s boot,” Taylor said.
My favorite Gifs of the week.
Dog confronts robot dog
Timeline of Queen Elizabeth's Life As Told Through Banknotes.
Entire crowd goes nuts when special needs player scores final basket
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity reported around 70 percent of Christians murdered in 2016 died in tribal conflicts in Africa. .... very often they involved Christians who refuse to take up arms for reasons of conscience."The other 30 percent, or 27,000, were killed in terror attacks, the destruction of Christian villages, or government persecution."
The United States has for the first time been named among the top 12 nations where Christians are targeted for their faith by a persecution watchdog group in its "Hall of Shame" report for 2016.
"We felt it was very important this year that we highlight three countries where religious discrimination and persecution are deemed unusual but have reached a certain threshold of concern. These are Mexico, Russia, and sadly, the United States," explained in a press release Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern.
"While conditions in the US are in no way comparable to other countries on the list, a certain segment of the culture and the courts seem to be intent on driving faith out of the public square. There have been too many court cases with bad decisions to miss the clear trend line."
Only one-in-seven registered Democrats in America believe that Islam is more violent as a whole than Christianity, according to a new CBS poll.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats, however, believe most Muslims in this country are mistreated, a view shared by only 22% of Republicans and 39% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Fewer Democrats (47%) think most Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world, compared to 76% of GOP voters and 64% of unaffiliateds.
Open Doors USA said in its new report that some 215 million Christians around the globe are facing some degree of persecution. But that number, it noted, could actually be much higher. “Our report is conservative because it only calculates incidents that are reported and can be validated.” ... “It is likely that there are thousands of incidents that are never reported and nobody knows because Christians are often fearful to tell anyone – even their own family members."
While racist, anti-Muslim, and anti-Semitic attacks have seen a huge fall since 2008, those on Christian places of worship more than doubled in this period of time, France’s interior ministry reported last week.
For the outside world, what is happening to the Christians of northern Nigeria is both beyond our imagination and beneath our interest. These tribal-led villages, each with their own ‘paramount ruler’, were converted by missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. But now these Christians — from the bishop down — sense that they have become unsympathetic figures, perhaps even an embarrassment, to the West. The international community pretends that this situation is a tit-for-tat problem, rather than a one-sided slaughter. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the press fails to report or actively obscures the situation. Christians in the south of the country feel little solidarity with their co-religionists suffering from this Islamic revivalism and territorial conquest in the north. And worst of all, the plight of these people is of no interest to their own government. In fact, this ethnic and religious cleansing appears to be taking place with that government’s complicity or connivance.
The moment three years ago when Boko Haram abducted 300 Christian schoolgirls from the north-east and ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ briefly trended on Twitter was the closest this situation has come to catching the world’s attention. But the moment passed. Those girls are still missing and the story of Boko Haram has receded from the headlines. But similar atrocities go on all the time.
Displaced Christians in the region had not received any aid from U.S. aid agencies or the United Nations in two years....Poland and Hungary already have, he pointed out, with the Hungarian government opening an office with a budget of over $3 million euros to aid persecuted Christians.
The Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, has denounced the hypocrisy of those protesting President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration, wondering aloud where all of the demonstrators were when Islamic State fighters were slaughtering Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.
From my perspective in Iraq, I wonder why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups. They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N. There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria. I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner.
I would also say this, all those who cry out that this is a “Muslim Ban” - especially now that it has been clarified that it is not - should understand clearly that when they do this, they are hurting we Christians specifically and putting us at greater risk. The executive order has clearly affected Christians and Yazidis and others as well as Muslims.
Institutions are disregarding true education in favor of offering a ‘college experience.’ - an excerpt from Anthony Esolen’s new book Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture.
Any dispassionate observer must conclude that higher education in the United States, and in many other Western nations, is in a bad way. I am not talking about troubles that are easily remedied or errors that require adjustment and reform. I am talking about whether higher education as the West has known it for eight hundred years is any longer possible.
it is insufficient to say that higher education suffers. Except in the most technical of disciplines, and perhaps even in those, the very possibility of higher education comes to an abrupt halt. If a professor must negotiate an emotional and verbal and political mine field before he opens his mouth, then he is no professor any longer. He is a servile functionary, no matter his title and no matter how well he is paid. He instructs his students not in freedom but in his own servility. That many of the students demand this servility of him and of themselves makes their capitulation all the worse.
The colleges have not abandoned moral considerations utterly. Relativism is an unstable equilibrium — imagine a pyramid upside down, placed delicately upon its apex. It might make you break out into a cold sweat to stand in its shade. The question is not whether some moral vision will prevail, but which moral vision. The colleges are thus committed to a moral inversion. High and noble virtues, especially those that require moral courage, are mocked: gallantry in wartime, sexual purity, scrupulous honesty and plain dealing, piety, and the willingness to subject your thoughts, experiences, and most treasured beliefs to the searching scrutiny of reason. What is valued then? Debauchery, perversion, contempt for your supposedly benighted ancestors, lazy agnosticism, easy and costless pacifism, political maneuvering, and an enforcement of a new orthodoxy that in denying rational analysis seeks to render itself immune to criticism. You sink yourself in debt to discover that your sons and daughters have been severed from their faith, their morals, and their reason. Whorehouses and mental wards would be much cheaper. They might well be healthier, too.
USPS mailman builds a ramp for an aging black Lab on his day off, easing centuries of postal/canine tension
Indeed, Kramer is not only a friend to Tashi but most of the other dogs on his route. “Most of them are now my friend,” he admitted. “In my opinion if you’re not a dog person and you’re a mailman, you’re in the wrong line of work. I’ve got about 30 or 40 that enthusiastically greet me,” Kramer claimed.
Roseann Sdoia was a spectator near the finish line and was hit by shrapnel. Boston firefighter Mike Materia rushed to her aid and accompanied her to the hospital, where Sdoia's mother stepped in as the matchmaker.
"In the hospital, my mom tried to set me up with him," Sdoia told the New York Post. "She was like, 'Oh, did you see that firefighter? He's so cute.' And I was like, 'Mom, I just got blown up.' "
But Mom's persistence paid off. The victim and her hero struck up a romance that will soon lead to marriage which is planned for the Fall.
Raise a Glass to the Smithsonian's First Beer Scholar Theresa McCulla is ready to start the “best job ever” chronicling the history of American brewing
No one will hire girl with Down syndrome. So she starts her own business - In the North End of Boston, Colletty Divitto is baking up a storm of Colletty's Cookies.
Collette's story was picked up by CBS local Boston, and aired as a "feel good" story for the holidays. Well it became more than that!! Within 10 days, she had over 9.5m views of FB, and over 50,000 cookies ordered. She received over 65,000 letters from people all over the world within 10 days, admiring her determination and ambition and finding her inspirational offering them hope.
Scientists have turned cooking oil into a material 200 times stronger than steel A cheaper way to make graphene.
You have to smile at this Sold Puppy Dancing
Mother Of 4 Builds House From Scratch By Watching YouTube Videos (link to video)
Cara Brookins, 45, explained that when she and her four children started building a house in 2008, they were looking for a way to move on from a troubled past. From putting up windows to running the gas line, they did it all with some help from YouTube. She says they had been through a really tough domestic violence situation and when they left, were pretty beaten down. During times when they had no idea how to continue, Brookins put up an front and rallied her children to keep trying.
He Saved 669 Children During The Holocaust… And He Doesn’t Know They’re Sitting Next To Him.
Not many people know who Sir Nicholas Winton is, considering he is older than 100, most can be forgiven for not being aware of who he is. There are 669 people who will certainly never forget the man’s name, mainly because he managed to save them from death. You see Sir Nicholas Winton saved the lives of 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia.
From the years 1938-39 he organised and successfully completed the goal of saving the children, bringing them to the safety of Britain. Post war, his deeds went totally unnoticed for almost 50 years, until his wife found records naming every children, along with a picture in one of his scrapbooks. What happened next is truly beautiful, as the man who saved these helpless children 50 years ago shares the audience with those who owe him their lives.
At the link a 1/1/2 minute video that brought tears to my eyes.
The report in Tuesday's journal PLOS Biology is based on four people with complete "lock-in" syndrome, meaning they are unable to move at all due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), which destroys the part of the nervous system responsible for movement. Patients are unable blink or move their eyes, and they breathe with the help of a ventilator. But using a non-invasive brain-computer interface that measured levels of oxygen on the brain, researchers were able to detect whether the patients were thinking "yes" or "no" in response to a series of questions, with an accuracy rate of about 70 percent.
"We were initially surprised at the positive responses when we questioned the four completely locked-in patients about their quality of life," said lead author Niels Birbaumer, professor at the Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering in Geneva, Switzerland. "All four had accepted artificial ventilation in order to sustain their life, when breathing became impossible; thus, in a sense, they had already chosen to live. We found that all four patients we tested were able to answer the personal questions we asked them, using their thoughts alone. All four patients in the study were asked, "Are you happy?" They each consistently responded "yes," over weeks of questioning."
Best Drone Photos, Out Of 27,000 Contenders. #1 is Exploration by Hanbing Wang/SkyPixel
English has 3000 words for being drunk: 'ramsquaddled’, ‘obfusticated’, ‘tight as a tick, etc.
There used to be 4 billion American chestnut trees, but they all disappeared The kings of the Eastern forest now die as shrubs.
....frog spit can change physical properties, transforming from a glue more viscous than honey to a thinner fluid and back again.The interplay between this reversible frog saliva and extra-soft frog tongues...allows the animals to capture meals in the amount of time it takes a human brain to think of and speak a word..
Angela Clayton, 19, spends her days lost in eras bygone, designing and sewing dresses that look straight out of a Jane Austen novel or a 16th-century portrait. She also models the creations on her Web sites (including AngelaClayton.Crevado.com).
Ten thousand light years from earth in a constellation far, far away, there is massive cloud of alcohol....1 000 times larger than the diameter of our solar system. It contains enough ethyl alcohol to fill 400 trillion trillion pints of beer. It’s space booze.
How Trees “Talk” To One Another Trees form complex relationships with one another to survive...
Forester Peter Wohlleben’s 2015 book, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World, invites readers to understand the capabilities of trees as social beings who rely on a network to communicate amongst themselves, much in the same way as any group of people or animals might. Wohlleben found that the groups of trees he studied formed friendships, used electric signals to communicate, and even kept their fallen comrades alive for several additional years, even centuries.
Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
To call the Ayam Cemani the world’s most unique chicken is an understatement. The black chicken isn’t just dark, but it’s entirely black—down to its bones! Indigenous to Indonesia, these Goth fowls’ internal organs and muscles are also inky-colored. It’s eggs, however, are a pleasant shade of cream. ... This blackness is caused by genetics, a mutation that “produces about ten times as much melanin [black pigment] as you’ll find in a normal chicken.” As a result, the Ayam Cemani’s feathers shine with iridescent greens and purples for a “riveting” effect.
Applying inexpensive petroleum jelly to a new baby daily for the first six months of life may reduce the risk that the infant will develop eczema, which can be a lifelong torment, according to a new analysis....The theory is that moisturizers “seal” a baby’s skin against some invader that triggers inflammation.
Capsaicin, the active component that gives chillies their trademark kick, can switch on specialized channels surrounding cancer cells causing them to die....However, capsaicin isn't effective if it's eaten, inhaled or injected, and researchers think it will only be effective as a pill attached to another drug that targets cancer cells.
Back pain? Only exercise will give you long-lasting relief..Ibuprofen DOESN'T work for back pain: Only 1 in 6 feel any benefit from taking the drug (and exercise is the only effective treatment)
Scientists from the George Institute for Global Health in Australia examined 35 trials involved more than 6,000 patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the study published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. They found its benefits were minimal and were as ineffective as paracetamol (Tylenol). In fact, the cheap pills made adults 3 times more likely to have stomach ulcers
Yoga can help relieve the agony of back pain, a major review of medical evidence last month found.The practice, which includes stretching and breathing exercises, is an effective way to improve mobility and ease the chronic discomfort, experts said. Researchers at the University of Maryland found yoga was twice as likely to improve the condition than simply doing back exercises.
Researchers Can Now Diagnose Parkinson’s, Cancer Via Patient’s ‘Breathprints’ The breath test could be the next blood test.
A promising new technique allows scientists to identify the presence of 17 different diseases based on the smell of somebody’s breath. While groundbreaking, the concept of studying the chemical makeup of human byproducts like sweat, urine, tears, and breath has been around since Hippocrates hypothesized about it in 400 B.C
Exhaled breathe contains oxygen, carbon dioxide, and a small amount of over 100 different chemical compounds that, when analyzed in relation to one another, can reveal a lot about the state of someone’s health.
In the hopes of advancing this prospect, scientists have created “breathprints,” distinct patterns found in one’s breath, for illnesses. “Just as each of us has a unique fingerprint that distinguishes us from others, each disease has a chemical signature that distinguishes it from other diseases and from a normal state of health,” Professor Hossam Haick of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who led the research group, said. “
The “breathprints” were created based on samples collected from 1,404 subjects diagnosed with one of 17 different diseases. Using artificial intelligence to analyze the results, scientists learned that each disease had a unique chemical marker based on the various amounts of 13 chemical compounds.